500 Fifth Avenue Building

500 Fifth Avenue Building
  1. About the 500 Fifth Avenue Building in New York
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The 500 Fifth Avenue Building is an Art-deco skyscraper designed in 1929 by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and built between 1930 and 1931, for a reported $4.00 million dollars, in New York, NY.

500 Fifth Avenue Building is not the only name you might know this building by though. The building is, or has also been known as Salmon Tower II.

Its precise street address is Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY. You can also find it on the map here.

The 500 Fifth Avenue Building is a structure of significant importance both for the city of New York and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the 500 Fifth Avenue Building was officially declared as a national landmark on December 14th 2010.

Building's timeline

Design completed
Construction begins
Construction completed
Declared NL
years ago

Architect and team

Shreve, Lamb & Harmon was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Established in 1929 in New York City by William F. Lamb, Arthur Loomis Harmon, and Richmond Shreve, Shreve, Lamb & Harmon was a prominent American architectural firm that left a lasting impact on the architectural landscape of the early 20th century.

They contributed significantly to the evolution of skyscraper design during a transformative era in American architecture, until the late 80s when they ceased to operate.

The firm's architectural style embodied the Art Deco movement at first, and then evolved into a more modern, international style.

Even though the Empire State is their most iconic project (it’s hard to beat when it comes to architectural icons!) their legacy extends well beyond any single structure, with over two dozen projects built in Manhattan alone.

Shreve, Lamb & Harmon was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the 500 Fifth Avenue Building a reality:

  • McClintic-Marshall Co. in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Charles T. Wills Inc. as the Main Contractor
  • Walter J. Salmon Sr as the Main Developer
  • Edward Amateis as the collaborating Artist

Architectural Style

The 500 Fifth Avenue Building can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The 500 Fifth Avenue Building was completed in 1931, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The 500 Fifth Avenue Building reaches an architectural height of 696ft (212m), 696ft (212m) if you count the antenna. It has a total of 60 floors

The building sits on a 659,117 sqf (61,234m2) lot.It has a built-up area of 659,117 sqf (61,234m2) offering 600,001 sqf (55,742m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1931, the 500 Fifth Avenue Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

696ft (212m)
696ft (212m)

Materials & Structure

The 500 Fifth Avenue Building uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a terracotta cladding on the majoity of its surface. Surrounding the main entrance though, there are limestone plates combined with bronze. Starting from the fourth floor, the dark terracotta panelsa are also combined with bricks.


  • s-media.nyc.gov